BEST Trail Runners for Backpacking
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BEST Trail Runners for Backpacking: During the warmer months of the year, backpacking is a great way to spend your time! You can backpack for a short amount of time by doing a hike in your hometown, or you could plan an expedition with other hikers and backpack for days or weeks at a time.


Best Trail Runners For Backpacking
Our Pick

Our pick for the best trail runner for backpacking is the La Sportiva Men's Ultra Raptor Trail Running Shoe. It is weather-resistant (Gore-Tex sole), offers ankle support, and stabilizes your heel for trail running.

We ♥ honesty! Pack Your Gear earns a commission through the following hand-picked links at no extra cost to you.

No matter which kind of backpacker you are, you’ll need the perfect pair of shoes to wear!

What are trail runners?

What Are Trail Runners?

A trail runner is a type of shoe for backpackers and hikers alike.

There’s an age-old debate about whether to choose hiking boots or trail runners, but each type of shoe provides its benefits. In this guide, we are going to dive into trail runners!

Trail runners are known for being the lighter alternative to hiking boots but are still just as great of a shoe for hiking.

Why should you consider trail runners for backpacking?

For backpacking, you should consider trail runners because they tend to provide more comfort and traction than regular hiking boots. They are also known for having a wider variety of design options, for those of you who care about your fashion sense while backpacking!

What to look for?

When purchasing a pair of trail runners, there are loads of features to look for. Below are the most important ones to consider when trying to find the best pair just for you.

Durability

When it comes to backpacking, you’re going to want a pair of shoes that last. Look for a pair of trail runners that are durable, and you won’t have to worry about them falling apart just because you had to backpack through nasty terrain for a day.

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Protection

You don’t want your toe to be stubbed by every possible rock in your way, do you? No, of course not! A great pair of trail runners will have at least some sort of protection for your foot.

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Flexibility

The downside to hiking boots is that they tend to not be flexible. They’re sturdy, which can be useful, but you want a pair of shoes that will be able to quickly move around. Try to find a pair of trail runners that have flexible insoles, which will also add to your comfort and overall hiking experience.

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Waterproof

Though this can be more a personal preference, it’s best to try to purchase a pair of shoes that are waterproof or weatherproof. This way, you can hike no matter the weather, and you won’t have to worry about your feet getting soaked. A versatile trail runner is an excellent trail runner!

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Comfort

When backpacking, you don’t want to feel every rock you’re stepping on. You want a shoe that is going to provide comfort with the right level of padding. Many trail runners will come with an exceptional level of comfort, especially with their insoles, so try to find one of those pairs.

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Traction

Trail runners are known for their traction. They have a lugged sole on the bottom, meaning that they usually have a pattern of some sort that will stop your foot from slipping and sliding while you’re backpacking. Be on the lookout for a shoe with proven traction!

These are all features to heavily consider when purchasing a pair of trail runners for your next outdoor excursion.

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Best Trail Runners for Backpacking

Here are the top 10 best trail runners for backpacking on the market place:

1

Salomon Men’s Speedcross 5 Trail Running

The Salomon Men’s Speedcross 5 Trail Running shoe is a lace-up shoe meant for backpacking.

Salomon Men's Speedcross 5 Trail Running, Magnet/Black/Phantom, 10

  • This best trail running shoes for hiking features a grip with large lugs, which helps with traction.
  • A custom foothold is inside the shoe to ensure that it fits you comfortably.
  • The outer fabric of the trail runner is breathable.
  • There’s a lightweight midsole on the sneaker’s interior.
  • The trail runner was made with technology that allows it to be durable and adhesive.
Pros
  • Strong traction
  • Breathable
  • Durable
  • Large lugs on the grip.
Cons
  • Not waterproof
Check Price on Amazon

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2

Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoes

The Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoes are a perfect shoe for backpacking, hiking, and running outdoors.

Salomon Men's Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoes, Black/Everglade./Sulphur Spring, 9.5 M US

  • The shoe is extremely lightweight but protective.
  • This sneaker’s bottom features a superior grip, which is useful in all hiking conditions.
  • The Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe has a cushioned sole to provide comfort.
  • A pattern on the bottom features sharp lugs to help you not slip while backpacking.
  • The trail runner features a custom foothold that gives a snug and unique fit to your foot.
Pros
  • Sharp lugs
  • Protective
  • Monster grips
Cons
  • Only available in neutral colors.
Check Price on Amazon

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3

ALTRA Men’s AL0A4PE5 Lone Peak 4

The Altra 4.5 Trail Running Shoe is an updated version fo Altra’s older trail running shoe.

ALTRA Men's AL0A4PE5 Lone Peak 4.5 Trail Running Shoe, Gray/Orange - 12 M US

  • This best hiking shoes for wide feet features a contoured footbed for comfort.
  • There are canted lugs at the bottom of the shoe to give traction and grip.
  • This best altra shoes for hiking has a wide toe width, so your foot feels like it has a lot of extra room.
  • Altra 4.5 Trail Running Shoe’s bottom has a pattern specifically designed to ward off debris buildup.
  • A mesh material that dries quickly is around the outside of the shoe allows your foot to breathe.
Pros
  • Contoured footbed
  • Breathable mesh
  • Roomy
Cons
  • Might have to size down due to wide footbed.
Check Price on Amazon

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4

La Sportiva Men’s Ultra Raptor GTX Trail Running Shoe

The La Sportiva Men’s Ultra Raptor GTX Trail Running Shoe is a Gore-Tex trail runner with extra protection.

La Sportiva Men's Ultra Raptor GTX Trail Running Shoe, Grey/Green, 41 M EU

  • This stability trail running shoes has resistant fabric to provide durability in all situations.
  • It’s made with Gore-Tex material, which is super waterproof.
  • There’s mesh fabric to help with moisture control and breathability, no matter the weather.
  • The bottom of this trail runner features a unique FriXion XT sole, which provides traction and stability.
  • This shoe provides ankle support and heel stabilization, which is great for days where you backpack many miles.
Pros
  • Ankle support
  • Gore-Tex material
  • Durable
Cons
  • Available in one color.
Check Price on Amazon

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5

Danner Men’s Mountain 600 4

The Danner Men’s Mountain 600 4.5″ Hiking Boot is a high-top shoe packed with features.

Danner Men's Mountain 600 4.5' Hiking Boot, Brown/Red-Suede, 9.5 D US

  • This stability trail running shoes comes in a wide variety of colors.
  • There’s an orthopedic-level footbed that provides excellent comfort.
  • This shoe covers the ankle and provides ankle support.
  • Heel reinforcement helps with stability.
  • The bottom of the shoe has a secure grip for all surfaces.
Pros
  • Great traction
  • Ankle support
  • Heel reinforcement
  • Many color options
Cons
  • Suede might make the shoe heavy when wet.
Check Price on Amazon

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6

La Sportiva Men’s Ultra Raptor Trail Running Shoe

The La Sportiva Men’s Ultra Raptor Trail Running Shoe is a reinforced sneaker with strong ankle support.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Men’s Mountain Trail Running Shoe, Black/Yellow, 47.5

  • The shoe’s bottom has excellent traction, which works on both wet and dry surfaces.
  • This shoe is made with mesh fabric to help prevent blisters and let your foot air out.
  • The Vibram soles allow only a short break-in period.
  • There is a reinforced heel that provides strong ankle support.
  • A medium fit helps with comfort while backpacking, no matter the distance.
Pros
  • Short break-in period
  • Mesh fabric, prevents blisters.
  • Strong traction
Cons
  • Only available in one color.
Check Price on Amazon

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7

Adidas Terrex AX3 Hiking Shoe Women’s

The Adidas Terrex AX3 Hiking Shoe Women’s is a great trail running shoe that comes in a variety of color options.

adidas outdoor Terrex AX3 Hiking Shoe - Women's Grey Five/Black/Clear Mint, 8.5

  • This trail runner features a durable rubber outsole that gives a great grip.
  • The inside of the Adidas Terrex AX3 Hiking Shoe is cushioned.
  • This best adidas hiking shoes are made from abrasion-resistant materials that provide durability.
  • The overall weight of the shoe is very lightweight.
  • This shoe is flexible yet stable on uneven terrain.
Pros
  • Flexible yet stable
  • Cushioned
  • Abrasion-resistant fabric
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Run large
Check Price on Amazon

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8

Columbia Men’s Vitesse Multi-sport Performance Shoe

The Columbia Men’s Vitesse Multi-sport Performance Shoe is a trail runner with superior comfort.

Columbia mens Vitesse Hiking Shoe, Carbon/Rocket, 12 US

  • This sneaker has a mesh layer that allows breathability.
  • The entire shoe is made with lightweight material.
  • Versatile traction helps you to feel stable, no matter if you’re inside or outside.
  • This shoe was made to be worn in multiple situations, including walking and trail running.
  • The inside of the shoe has durability, and it was built to last with high-quality materials.
Pros
  • Versatile traction
  • Durable
  • Lightweight fabric
Cons
  • Limited color options
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9

Adidas Outdoor Women’s Terrex Eastrail Hiking Boot

The Adidas Outdoor Women’s Terrex Eastrail Hiking Boot is a trail runner with a lot of added benefits.

adidas outdoor Women's Terrex EASTRAIL Hiking Boot, Grey Four/Black/Clear Mint, 9.5 M US

  • The rubber outsole provides a sturdy grip.
  • This shoe has extra cushioning on the midsole for comfort.
  • There is a lace closure so you can easily adjust the fit.
  • Breathable fabric helps with moisture control.
  • This sneaker is lightweight, so you don’t feel like you’re lugging extra weight.
Pros
  • Extra cushioning
  • Lace closure
  • Breathable
Cons
  • Runs large
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10

ALTRA Men’s ALM1953G Superior 4 Trail Running Shoe

The Altra Men’s ALM1953G Superior 4 Trail Running Shoe is a sneaker created for train running, trail racing, and backpacking.

ALTRA Men's AFM1953G Superior 4 Trail Running Shoe, Black - 12 D(M) US

  • This shoe has a high comfort level with extra cushioning.
  • The sneaker is designed in a way that positions your foot naturally.
  • This trail runner is very light.
  • The shoe’s outsole is made of Altra’s signature MaxTrac rubber, which is sticky.
  • There’s a lug pattern on the bottom for traction.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Sticky grip
  • Natural foot positioning
Cons
  • Long laces
Check Price on Amazon

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Best Trail Runners For Backpacking
Our Pick

Our top recommendation for the best trail runner for backpacking is the La Sportiva Men's Ultra Raptor Trail Running Shoe. It features weather-resistant sole, provides ankle support, and stabilizes your heel for trail running.

Your backpacking and hiking experience would not be complete without the ultimate pair of trail runners. A pair of these shoes will allow your feet to be more flexible and lightweight compared to your average hiking shoe.

Next time you’re preparing for an outdoor adventure, purchase a pair of trail runners.

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Key References

  • “Merrell | What’s Inside A Hiking Shoe? Blog”. Accessed July 27, 2020. Link.
  • “Our Product Ranges | GORE-TEX Brand”. Accessed July 27, 2020. Link.

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